A Crowdfunding Site Lets You Bring Energy Efficiency to Poor Neighborhoods

Everyone knows that energy-retrofitting old buildings often makes economic sense. What a lot of people don’t know is how to do it. While retrofits lead to savings on electric and heating bills, you still need to find upfront capital to pay for all the improvements.

The issue is particularly acute for churches and community centers in low-income areas. They frequently have massively inefficient buildings and outsized energy bills, but no way of paying for upgrades. Banks generally aren’t interested in charities with little dependable income.

That’s why Donnel Baird and his team have put together BlocPower, a social business that gathers together inefficient buildings into more attractive packages. It then finds the money from impact investors who get a decent return, though not a spectacular one.

Read the full article by Ben Schiller in Fast Company here.